Monday, January 7, 2019

Bad River Tribal teen set inaugural water theme

I was moved by the thoughtful remarks made by young Bad River Ojibwe tribal member Bella Wabindato as she introduced Tony Evers at his Monday morning swearing-in.
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Ms. Wabindato reminded the State Capitol audience and those of us listening or watching streaming channels that water sustains her people and everyone in the State of Wisconsin.

You can watch her remarks in this YouTube video of today's ceremonies beginning at the 48-minute mark.

Remember that it was just a few years ago that Walker, an out-of-state coal mining company that was secretly supporting his recall campaign and a compliant, GOP-controlled legislature nearly sacrificed the Bad River band and their life-giving watershed abutting Lake Superior.

Their tool: an insider-influenced bill designed to enable the excavation for 35 years of a massive open-pit iron ore mine and its attendant mountain top removal across the pristine Penokee Hills, extensive watershed filling, the dumping of tons of toxic tailings and release of years of airborne and waterway pollution.

I consider Ms. Wabindato's call to action a message for the public, and also for a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and DNR Secretary who have all pledged to honor and scientifically sustain the Wisconsin environment as their predecessors did not, and who must use power of their offices to protect and improve state's waters and other resources which are held in trust by these officials for the people.

Lake Superior referenced today, or Lake Michigan along which I walked after the inauguration was over - - 

- - with our wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams and estuaries are all living parts of the Great Lakes basin, all vital to life from the Bad River to the Milwaukee River, Minnesota to New York State, the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean - - all needing protection from privateers and profit-seekers and polluters who would steal, abuse, and otherwise degrade it for their own benefit at the expense of the many.

A new day in Wisconsin has been launched with truth spoken to power.

About water. By a young person who will inherit what the older generations have done, and can improve upon.

Let today's swearing-in of new leaders be the inauguration of the protections which we, and she, and the water all need.

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